Decorating With White Plus a Bright Color

  • 01 of 08

    Red and White

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    Rick Rhay/Getty Images

    If you’re looking for an easy bedroom palette that is guaranteed to look good, yet is never boring, just start with white and then add the bright color of your choice. The result is cheerful, fresh and welcoming, but not overwhelming or hard to master. If you need more proof, take a look at the eight bedrooms featured here, each decorated in a different bright color along with white.

    You might worry that a red-and-white bedroom will be too girly, or reminiscent of Valentine’s Day. Put your fears to rest; this is a great color combination that combines the romance and excitement of red with the tranquility of white, creating a bedroom that feels sophisticated yet sexy. The bedroom shown here gets it right – the bed combines a variety of patterns and textures, the checkered area rug adds a lot of zip to the space and the ornate white bench keeps the look quite traditional – all within the two-color palette. This room goes further with striped, neutral walls, but would look just as good with a simple creamy white, pale tan or soft gray instead.

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  • 02 of 08

    Blue and White

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    LOOK Photography/Getty Images

    Light or mid-tone blue and white is a bedroom classic, and one look at the room featured here shows you why. It’s a tranquil palette that works well with many styles of décor, but is especially suited to country, coastal or other casual themes. The bedroom shown here is traditional with a little touch of country. Notice the extra touches that enliven the space: decorative nail head trim on the headboard, sheer white curtains, framed paper flowers above the bed. There’s a lot of interest, but the color scheme keeps it serene.

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  • 03 of 08

    Yellow and White

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    Patti McConville/Getty Images

    Cheerful, fresh and friendly – a yellow-and-white bedroom feels as happy as a summer day. It’s a high-energy color combination, so if you are looking for a very laid-back bedroom scheme, this isn’t the choice for you. The bedroom featured here adds touches of red to the mix, and does a beautiful job of mixing florals and stripes, two patterns that work very well together as long as they share a color or two. Yellow and white is very versatile and is a suitable palette for many different decorating themes, including country, Mediterranean, contemporary and traditional.

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  • 04 of 08

    Orange and White

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    Photo courtesy of House to Home

    Orange can be quite retro, but it’s not limited to the days of disco, as the bedroom shown here beautifully proves. This is orange showing off its glamourous side – a deep, burnt pumpkin shade that is dark enough to be dramatic, yet isn’t at all harsh or tacky. Add in the overstuffed, magnificent white headboard, the unique white chandelier, the futuristic white nightstand and the unusual flower vase, and you get a bedroom that is both modern and retro, glamourous and sophisticated, sleek and luxurious all at the same time. This is orange and white done right.

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  • 05 of 08

    Pink and White

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    Photo courtesy of Houzz

    Do you think pink and white is only for a little girl’s room? That’s a common misconception. While it undoubtedly IS a popular color combination for the younger set, it grows up nicely when done right in a master bedroom. The secret is shown in the bedroom here – clean lines on the furniture, an absence of frills and clutter and use of only one matching pattern on the chairs, shams and headboard. Surprisingly, the use of a strong, bright pink also makes it look more mature – softer bubblegum shades work better in a child’s bedroom; or a very romantic, feminine space. The tile floor shown here is an unusual choice for a bedroom, but also makes it clear that this room is all grown up.

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  • 06 of 08

    Green and White

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    Photo courtesy of Homedit

    Fresh, vibrant and yet restful – green and white is a great combination for a bedroom. Mixing shades of green, as in the room shown here, adds a lot of pizzazz without taking away any of the tranquility. This bedroom is furnished in a transitional style, but the bright-green-and-white palette, along with the black accents, adds a sophisticated, contemporary touch. If you want to add strong color to your walls without overwhelming the room, consider a grassy green like the shade used here.

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  • 07 of 08

    Purple and White

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    Photo courtesy of HGTV

    It’s dramatic and it can be a bit moody – purple isn’t a good choice for those with reserved personalities. If you enjoy being the center of attention, however, consider a bedroom decorated in purple and white. The bedroom here -- furnished with a simple dresser and modern nightstands from Ikea -- has a lot going on, and might be a bit much if you prefer a more calming atmosphere. It’s the bold bedding and the striking ceiling fixture that create most of the impact in this bedroom, and they do it beautifully. With a simpler light fixture and solid bedding, however, the room would be just as colorful, but not as outspoken.

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  • 08 of 08

    Turquoise and White

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    Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

    Yellow might be the happy color on the warm side of the spectrum, but turquoise is its counterpoint on the cooler side of the color wheel. This cheerful color feels like a sunny day at the beach, which is why it works so well with ocean-inspired decorating themes like tropical, coastal and Mediterranean. On its own, turquoise is quite intense, but when it’s used with white, the effect is cheery and bright, yet not too stimulating for a bedroom. Take a look at the room featured here – the white furniture is traditional in style, but the patterns on the throw pillows and armchair, along with the white wicker stool and floral artwork, give this space a tropical vibe.